“My Inventions” is a candid and illuminating autobiography of Nikola Tesla, one of the most important technological innovators of the modern industrial age. Famous for the radio, robotics, and wireless energy, Tesla quickly gained international notoriety for his pioneering inventions as much for his eccentric life. Perhaps no one in his day more thoroughly embodied the archetype of the “mad scientist”. This firsthand account reveals the fascinating interior life of a genius. In it we see a prodigious man musing over the Tesla coil, magnifying transmitter, transformer, and the rotating magnetic field. Written by the brilliant inventor himself, “My Inventions” is a fascinating window into the principles and practices of Tesla’s singular world. Tesla’s public rivalry with Thomas Edison, with whom he worked early on, fueled his celebrity. Here we witness the art and science behind the conception, execution, and reception of Tesla’s most famous inventions. Also included in this collection are the writings “Tesla Would Pour Lightning from Airships to Consume Foe”, “The Action of the Eye”, and “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy”. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.
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About the Author
Samantha Hunt is the author of two novels, including The Invention of Everything-about an imagined period in Tesla's life- which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She lives in Tivoli, New York.
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Table of Contents
PART I - MY EARLY LIFE
PART II - MY FIRST EFFORTS IN INVENTIONS
PART III - MY LATER ENDEAVORS
PART IV - THE DISCOVERY OF THE TESLA COIL AND TRANSFORMER
PART V - THE MAGNIFYING TRANSMITTER
PART VI - THE ART OF TELAUTOMATICS
TESLA WOULD POUR LIGHTNING FROM AIRSHIPS TO CONSUME FOE
THE ACTION OF THE EYE
THE PROBLEM OF INCREASING HUMAN ENERGY
THE STORY OF PENGUIN CLASSICS
CLICK ON A CLASSIC
MY INVENTIONS AND OTHER WRITINGS
NIKOLA TESLA (1856–1943) was born in Smiljan (modern-day Croatia), but traveled to America in his youth and remained there, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1891. During his lifetime, he contributed immensely to the field of electrical engineering and is responsible for alternating current electricity, the bifilar coil, and the bladeless turbine. He was chiefly responsible for the invention of the radio due to his research on wireless communication devices. Although less well known than his contemporaries Edison and Marconi, Tesla surpassed both with his contributions to modern science. Supposedly because of his competitive relationship with Edison—and their mutual inclination to discredit each other at every chance—both were passed over for the Nobel Prize; Marconi received the prize for physics for his invention of radio in 1909 (after Tesla’s death in 1943, his patent on radio was finally upheld by the Supreme Court, a ruling that served as the basis for patented radio technology in the United States). Troubled by phobias and, possibly, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tesla lived out the last ten years of his life in solitude at the Hotel New Yorker. He died in 1943, in debt despite his numerous scientific contributions and patents.
SAMANTHA HUNT is the author of two novels, The Seas, for which she received the “5 under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation, and The Invention of Everything Else, short-listed for the Orange Prize for fiction. She writes fiction for The New Yorker and is fascinated by the life of Nikola Tesla, the subject of her novel The Invention of Everything Else.
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First published in Penguin Books 2011
Introduction copyright © Samantha Hunt, 2011
All rights reserved
The original publishers of the selections in this book are cited on page xxi.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Tesla, Nikola, 1856–1943.
My inventions and other writings / Nikola Tesla ; introduction by Samantha Hunt.
ISBN : 978-1-101-56569-8
1. Tesla, Nikola, 1856–1943. 2. Electrical engineers—United States—Biography. 3. Inventors—United States—Biography. I. Hunt, Samantha. II. Title.